Hughes Hubbard & Reed helped a client whose severe illnesses deprived her of her ability to work win Social Security disability benefits.

On June 26, 2013 Administrative Judge Harvey Feldmeier granted benefits retroactive through May 2012 to the client who suffers from major depression and fibromyalgia, which causes her severe pain and makes it difficult for her to sit, stand and walk. The client also experiences panic attacks and hallucinations.

Before the client lost her job in 2008 due to her conditions, she had worked with special-needs children. The client's sister has since provided her with financial support and is responsible for her daily care. But the client’s conditions have worsened and placed a strain on her sister, who works at a hotel in Midtown and has a young daughter with special needs.

The Legal Aid Society referred the case to Hughes Hubbard in May and summer associates Minh Nguyen and Ashley Hodges represented the client. Hodges and Nguyen interviewed the client and her sister twice, pulled together new medical information to add to the Social Security file and wrote a brief for the Social Security Administration. Arielle Garcia and Sigrid Jernudd helped with client interviews and preparing the submission. Sarah Cave and Hagit Elul oversaw the matter, providing final comments on the brief.

After reviewing Hughes Hubbard's submission, Judge Feldmeier decided a hearing was not necessary. While the client was waiting on the second floor of the federal building, where special accommodations had been made due to her fear of elevators and crowds, Judge Feldmeier informed Hodges and Nguyen that he had already received enough evidence and did not want to put the client through the additional stress of a hearing. The client and her sister were extremely grateful and repeatedly thanked the whole team.